Ivan Messac - Biography

Ivan Messac was born in Caen in 1948.
After writing songs, reading the poets of the Beat Generation and hitchhiking across Europe, he immersed himself in painting.
He made his discreet contribution to May 68, did not enroll at the School of Fine Arts, but began studying philosophy at the Faculty of Nanterre. One of Ivan Messac's singularities is that he did not wait for someone to offer him exhibition spaces before exhibiting himself. In 1969, he unfurled a 10m fresco on paper in the corridors of the Nanterre University which marked his artistic and political commitment. One of his classmates wrote along the railway line: Messac at the Louvre. 
Ivan Messac - Faculty of Nanterre – Flash and collage on paper – 150 x 900 cm – 1969
Ivan Messac, Faculty of Nanterre, Flashe and collage on paper, 150 x 900 cm, 1969

In 1969, he exhibited at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, where he became a member of the committee a few years later. He will design the posters for 1974 and 1975.
His series of Absolute Minority paintings, dedicated to Amerindians, earned him a certain notoriety and an article in the journal Opus international. He was then attached to the Narrative Figuration movement of which he became the youngest alongside Gérard Fromanger, Hervé Télémaque, Jacques Monory, Bernard Rancillac, Peter Klasen, Valerio Adami and many others.

“When we say that Ivan Messac is a painter, we won't have said much. If we had to summarize his artistic adventure, it would be neither by the style nor by the themes he addressed, but by the spirit of freedom which dominates his practice..."
From 1983, Ivan Messac alternated between painting and sculpture. He created monumental sculptures presented at the J&J Donguy gallery in 1987. Numerous exhibitions followed, including two in Quebec, the Rimouski Regional Museum and the Joliette Museum of Fine Arts.

Ivan Messac, poster for the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, 1974.
Ivan Messac, poster for the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, 1974.
Ivan Messac, poster for the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, 1975.

In 1973, the choreographer Michel Descombey commissioned the sets and costumes for a ballet to music by Stockhausen, at the same time he prepared his first personal exhibition in Paris, “Le noble art”, on the world of boxing.

From 1981 his paintings became more and more abstract. These abstract works will be the subject of a vast retrospective at the Bernard Ceysson gallery in Luxembourg in 2009.

In 1987, he created marble sculptures for public commissions in China for the city of Changchun, in Lebanon at the French embassy, ​​in Paris boulevard de Grenelle and in the Halles site, in the nursery school on the street de la Villette or even in Saint-Denis for the EDF site.

Ivan Messac, Le noble Art - Bleu N°1, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 33 x 41 cm.

In 2001, the Villa Tamaris presented around a hundred paintings from 1968 to 1978. Then followed exhibitions with numerous galleries: Art To Be, Lille, Le Radar, Bayeux, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, Pepper, Antibes, Anne-Marie and Roland Pallade, Lyon, HdM Gallery, Beijing, Taglialatella, Paris.

In 2014, he created a stained glass window for the Chapelle Saint Sylvain, Nevers, France

In 2016, the event is scheduled by the Center Pompidou: Messac Live: 20 days for a painting. Ivan Messac must create a work, under the gaze of the public. He happily mixes painting and digital printing. Ultimately, not one but five monumental works will see the light of day.

In 2021, a one-man show is presented at Art Paris by Art to Be Gallery, the same year, Yoyo Maeght publishes two limited edition prints, one of which is a tribute to Elvis Presley.

“Jailhouse Rock” - Print, 65 x 50 cm - 25 copies signed and numbered - Edition Yoyo Maeght, 2021

Personal exhibitions (selection)

  • 2021: Taglialatella Gallery, Paris, Miroirs de Femmes.
  • 2019: Taglialatella Gallery, Paris, Cosmo twist .
  • 2018: Taglialatella Gallery, Paris, Dance of the Brushes
  • 2017: Taglialatella Gallery, Paris, 3G Connection - The Three Graces.
  • 2016: Center Pompidou, Paris, Messac Live: 20 days for a painting ; Art to Be Gallery, Lille, What will Be, will Be.
  • 2015: Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Art Paris Art Fair, Everything is illuminated; Le Radar, Espace d’art, Bayeux, Paroles d’Images ; Anne-Marie and Roland Pallade Gallery, Lyon, The way things are going; Pepper Gallery, Antibes, On the way.
  • 2014: Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, Espace 2D3D ; Art to Be Gallery, Lille, Beware ; Espace Commines, Paris, Street Immo.
  • 2013: Villa Tamaris art center, La Seyne-sur-Mer, From me to you .
  • 2010: Nuit Blanche, Forney Library, Paris, Histoire de Temps; Galerie Mazel, Brussels , Narration(s); Maison Elsa Triolet-Aragon, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (Yvelines, Île-de-France), Homage to Mayakovsky ; JCM Billy Gallery, La Baule, Zoo mio .
  • 2009: Espace Jacques Villeglé, Saint-Gratien, Works 2004 / 2009 ; CIPM, Marseille, The future is 100 years old ; Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Luxembourg-city, Luxembourg, Paintings and sculptures from the 1980s ; Villa Tamaris Art Center, La Seyne-Sur-Mer, Crazy Legs ; Domaine de Lescombes, Eysines, Ivan Messac.
  • 2008: Antonio Prates Gallery, Lisbon, Pessoa is another ; Galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris, My generation ; Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Saint-Étienne, Messac ; Artistic Moments, Paris, Lunatics .
  • 2007: Galerie Confluence(s), Lyon, Love story ; Louis Lumière Art Center, Hénin-Beaumont, Recent works ; Domaine Galuval, Cairanne, It’s in the box ; Gérard Jacot Art School, Belfort, Works on paper 1967 / 2006 ; Orel art gallery, Paris, The big gap, tribute to Vladimir Mayakovsky.
  • 2006: Galerie le Garage, Orléans, Watch and be seen ; Laurent Strouk Gallery, Paris, Adam & Eve.
  • 2005: Galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris, Prime-Time Printing.
  • 2004: Galerie Hervé Lourdel, Paris, Klepsévitch ; Espace Château Neuf, Tours, Full box ; Laurent Strouk Gallery, Paris, Clic-clac 3D.
  • 2003: Métropolis Gallery, Lyon, My Pop Years ; Passages Contemporary Art Center, Troyes, How to find your way there ; Library of Villa Tamaris, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Klepsévitch.
  • 2001: Villa Tamaris art center, La Seyne-sur-Mer, the narrative years ; Studio d'Arte La Subbia, Pietrasanta, Italy, Carta Pesta, marmo pesto ; Hervé Lourdel Gallery, Paris, All the colors.
  • 2000: Maison Française, Washington DC, United States; Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, Virginia, United States.
  • 1999: Artistic moments, Paris, Apartment pieces.
  • 1998: Orangerie des Musées, Sens, Sculptures for Aronta .
  • 1996: Espace Lumière, Hénin-Beaumont.
  • 1994: Le Carré St Vincent Art Center, Orléans.
  • 1993: Gallery 15, Paris
  • 1992: CREDAC Art Center, Ivry-sur-Seine; Gallery of the Ancien Collège, Châtellerault; Gallery of the School of Fine Arts, Cherbourg; Galerie Catherine Mayeur, Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1990: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Joliette, Quebec.
  • 1989: JC Aguas Ek'ymose Gallery, Bordeaux; Rimouski Regional Museum, Quebec.
  • 1988: Trajectoire Gallery, Biarritz.
  • 1987: Galerie J. & J. Donguy, Paris.
  • 1981: L’Ollave Gallery, Lyon.
  • 1980: Montesquieu Gallery, Agen; Le Parvis Art Center, Tarbes, The museum in the street .
  • 1977: National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, Paris.
  • 1976: Sigma 12, Bordeaux.
  • 1975: Sirio Gallery, Rome; CRACAP, Chalon-sur-Saône; House of Culture, Amiens; Black Gallery, Paris.
  • 1974: Galerie Liliane François, Paris, Children on the pot ; Alvarez Dois Gallery, Porto; Sallaumines Town Hall, Sallaumines.
  • 1973: Galerie Ratié, Paris, Le noble art.
  • 1971: Brown Thomas Gallery, Dublin .

Collective exhibitions (selection)

  • 2016: Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris, Jacques Chirac or the dialogue of cultures ; Galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris, Paper Works ; La Chapelle Contemporary Art Center, Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, Art & Foot
  • 2015: Patinoire Royale, Brussels, Belgium, The resistance of images ; VillaTamaris art center, La Seyne-sur-Mer, It’s night
  • 2013: Artist's Book Cabinet, Rennes-II University, Rennes, One Page Magazines ; La Seyne-Sur-Mer, A generation. Painters from the 70s in the Villa Tamaris collection
  • 2012: House of art, Sallaumines, 20 .
  • 2011: Galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris, Picasso forever ; IUFM Confluence(s) Gallery, Lyon, Homage to Christian Calligarot
  • 2010: Colas Foundation, Boulogne-Billancourt, New acquisitions ; Mazel Galerie, Brussels, Belgium, Remix ; Laurent Strouk Gallery, Paris, Heart
  • 2007: Hospice Comtesse Museum, Lille, Narrative Figuration ; Agen Fine Arts Museum, The love of art. Contemporary art and private collections from the South-West
  • 2005: Orléans Museum of Fine Arts, Dole Museum of Fine Arts, Narrative Figuration in public collections, 1964-1977
  • 2006: Art Center - Château Prieural, Monsempron-Libos, Artists' Collections ; Price of Saint-Amand-Montrond
  • 2004: Yonne Art Center, Tanlay Castle and Caen art library, Sainte-Croix museum in Sables-d'Olonne, La Peau du Chat, tribute to Carlota Charmet
  • 2003: Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy, Creations for the Contemporary Ballet Theater
  • 2000: Galerie du Center, Paris, Pleine ligne .
  • 1999: Romanesque abbey of Alspach, works by FRAC Alsace, Art Papier ; Studio d'Arte La Subbia, Pietrasanta, Italy, Del porcello e… ; National Assembly, Paris, 30 artists .
  • 1998: Carrara, Italy, Forme dal bianco
  • 1993: Galerie du Center, Paris, Guyomard invites his friends .
  • 1990: Maison de la Culture Côte des Neiges, Montreal, Quebec, Practices ; 25th Anniversary of the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris
  • 1988: CREDAC, Ivry-sur-Seine, Carte blanche to Olivier Kaeppelin
  • 1987: Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, Paris
  • 1986: Open door workshop with Paul Osipow¸ Paris, Le Génie de la Bastille
  • 1985: Open door workshop with Francis Limerat, Paris, Le Génie de la Bastille
  • 1984: Espace Kairn, Paris, Joël Hubaut, Patrick Lanneau, Francis Limerat, Ivan Messac…
  • 1984: Home of Alain Borer, Paris, 6 painters, 6 doors
  • 1983: L'uomo, l'ambiante, il color , Vittuone (Milan), Italy
  • 1982: Auto Show, Alfa Romeo Stand, Paris, Art and Automotive Mastery
  • 1981: Selection for the Paris Biennale, Lisbon, Portugal, Tampere, Finland, Nice, France
  • 1980: Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, 11th Paris Biennale
  • 1979: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Les uns par les autres ; Jacqueline Storme Gallery, Lille, The work in the egg .
  • 1978: Georges Pompidou National Contemporary Art Fund, Paris, Les Uns ; National Library, Paris, Prints today ; Atelier Franck Bordas, Paris, Lithographs .
  • 1977: Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, Mythologies Quotidiennes II ;
  • 1976: Galerie du Luxembourg, Paris, Real-size painting ; XXVIIth Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris.
  • 1975: Gordillo Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, European Realism ; Galerie La Pochade, Paris, Regard 74 ; Alzaia Gallery, Rome, Italy, 17 artisti francesi ; Alzaia Gallery, Rome, Italy, Posters for the PCI ; XXVI th Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris; The use of painting - Christian Babou, Béatrice Casadesus, Henri Cueco, Gérard Fromanger, Jean-Pierre Le Boul'ch, Ivan Messac and Joan Rabascall, traveling exhibition, Sarlat, Aurillac, Tarbes, Bordeaux, Talence, Angers, Amiens, Chartres (museum of fine arts, Grenoble (house of culture), Paris (Luxembourg gallery).
  • 1974: Selection of Jean-Louis Pradel, FIAC, Paris; XXV th Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris; How well they resist! , Lecco, Italy; Trifalco Gallery, Rome, Italy, Polemica, Satira, Protesta.
  • 1973: Grand Palais, Paris, Today’s Greats and Young People ; Galerie La Roue, Paris, La Parole est à la Peinture ; Manipulation of Reality , Pujols
  • 1972: Third biennial of prints , Paris; XXIII Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris
  • 1971: Maison de la Culture, Grenoble, Intox ; Irish Exhibition of Living Art , Dublin
  • 1970: Aspect of racism , Paris; 100 artists in the city , Montpellier; Irish Exhibition of Living Art , Dublin-Belfast; 21st Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris
  • 1969: 20th Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris; Ve Sigma , Bordeaux
  • 1968: Salon de Nanterre, Nanterre
  • 1967: Salon de Nanterre, Nanterre

Public acquisitions

  • National Contemporary Art Fund, Paris: 2006, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1988, 1987, 1978
  • Sens Museums: 1999, 1998
  • Carnavalet Museum, Paris, Châtellerault museum: 1992
  • Alsace Regional Contemporary Art Fund, Sélestat; Mulhouse Museum of Fine Arts: 1989
  • Pays de Loire Regional Contemporary Art Fund, Carquefou: 1983
  • Municipal Contemporary Art Fund of the City of Paris, 1975
  • City of Sallaumines: 1974
  • Sports Museum, Paris: 1973

Public orders

    • 2001: French Embassy, ​​Beirut, Large Bust, Carrara marble sculpture.
    • 2000: Nursery school on rue de la Villette, Paris, La Petite and la Grande Ourses, sculptures in blue marble; Town of Montcenis, urban community of Le Creusot Montceau, The Astronomer, Carrara marble sculpture.
    • 1999: Changchun, People's Republic of China, Beyond the Horizon, marble and steel sculpture.
    • 1998: RIVP building, 44/46 Boulevard de Grenelle, Paris, White Venus, Carrara marble sculpture; EDF Cap Ampère site in Saint-Denis: The Dialogue of Archimedes, sculpture in Carrara and Iroko marble.
    • 1992: Carcassonne airport site (State deposit), Éloge, solid steel sculpture
    • 1990: Parc de la Nature de Laval, Quebec, reinforced concrete sculpture; Voce Amara, Dolce Motore, video, commissioned by the National Contemporary Art Fund
    • 1989: Place Maurice Quentin, Paris, Not beyond the horizon , sculpture in steel and Carrara marble. The Voice of the Poet Breaks the Teapots, video, commissioned from the National Contemporary Art Fund.
    • 1988: Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire Sculpture Park, sculpture in steel and Carrara marble.
Ivan Messac, 20 days for a painting, Center Pompidou, 2016